Folayang far from retiring: 'I feel fresh as ever'

Filipino mixed martial arts icon Eduard Folayang does not see himself retiring in the near future as he returns to ONE Championship against Australian Antonio Caruso.

The 36-year-old Folayang takes on Caruso in the undercard of ONE: Inside the Matrix that has middleweight champion Aung La N Sang defend his throne against Reinier De Ridder in the main event on Friday, October 30.

"As we say in the Philippines, 'Only carabaos get old.' So yeah, I feel fresh as ever," said Folayang, who will fight for the first time since January.

"I've been fighting all my life, so when I stop, it is like taking a fish out of the water, it dies. Right now, I still enjoy it and I'm still motivated."

ONE Championship chairman and chief executive officer Chatri Sityodtong feels the same about Folayang, who is a two-time lightweight champion.

"For me, when I look at Eduard and talk to him, I see that he is hungrier than ever – he is always improving his skill set," Sityodtong said. 

"I think there were many times in the last few years where Eduard Folayang was written off by some of the haters, but the truth is, he is still very fresh and very strong and very athletic and very intelligent."

Folayang, though, faces a tough challenge from Caruso, who is determined to bounce back from his ONE Championship debut that ended in a loss. (READ: Old vs new lion: Caruso hopes to fight 'the best' Folayang)

Seven years younger, Caruso boasts of a solid 7-1 record and trains with the likes of N Sang and featherweight champion Martin Nguyen at the Sanford MMA Gym.

"What I bring to the table that he has not seen before is me. He has never fought me, he has never faced me, he has never fought a person like me before," Caruso said. 

"Yes, he has seen boxers, kickboxers, wrestlers, jiu-jitsu, but he has never fought me, Antonio the Spartan." – Rappler.com

How to watch
  • Philippine fans can catch the action live this Friday on One Sports+ and the ONE Super App at 8:30 pm.
  • One Sports will air the show a little bit later that day at 9 pm, while TV5 will air the next day at 11 pm. 
  • ONE will also air the event live on their YouTube channel. 

Read more from ONE Championship: